The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on November 28, 2016, documenting the resolution of a breech presentation pregnancy as confirmed by ultrasound following chiropractic.
The study begins by pointing out that as delivery is closer, the ideal position for a fetus is called vertex. This is where the fetus has the head downward with the back of the head facing forward. A breech presentation is when the buttock is positioned to exit the vaginal canal before the head. A breech birth can create a number of issues including problems with dilation and compression of the umbilical cord. Additionally issues including baby inhaling fluids, higher death rates, neurological issues, cerebral palsy, fractures and brachial plexus traction injuries can occur from this situation.
In this case, a 27-year-old woman who was 35 weeks pregnant came to the chiropractor. At that time, her fetus was in the breech position. She was also experiencing some intermittent pain in the tailbone region that was worse at night and relieved by changing positions. The woman had heard about the Webster technique, used by chiropractors, that has shown success with breech pregnancies.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, a postural analysis, and thermal scans. Based on the examination, chiropractic was started using specific forms of adjustments and the Webster technique.
After the first adjustment, the patient noticed the baby moving at night. On her next visit, she stated that she believed her baby had turned and that she had an appointment with her obstetrician scheduled. On the third visit to the chiropractor, the woman confirmed that an ultrasound examination by her obstetrician showed the fetus had moved into the normal vertex position. She also reported that her other conditions had improved by 90% since starting chiropractic care.
The authors of this case study also conducted a literature review of similar cases and noted that the documented cases show the Webster technique having a 95% success rate in having breech pregnancies return to the normal vertex.
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), founded by the late Dr. Larry Webster defines the chiropractic technique he developed as, “The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved.” The ICPA further explained the relationship between breech pregnancy resolution and the Webster technique by saying, “In regards to pregnant mothers, Dr. Webster reported that when a mother sought care and her baby was in a breech position, the restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics with this adjustment also frequently facilitated optimal fetal positioning.”